Dr. Peter Vardy was Vice Principal of Heythrop College, University of London (1999-2011); he is internationally well-known as a leader in the fields of Religious Studies, Philosophy and Ethics and Values Education.
Previously a Chartered Accountant, Management Trainer and Chairman of UK listed companies before he was 30, Peter is a brilliant lecturer with an outstanding commitment to young people, encouraging them to think deeply and well about the big questions that affect us all. He has been the keynote speaker at conferences for the HMC, IBO and UNHRC and has advised Governments, Local Authorities and Academy Chains on Religion and Values education.
Well known from BBC and ABC radio and from articles in The Times Higher Education Supplement, The Tablet, The Age etc. Peter’s bestselling books – including the “Puzzle of” series for HarperCollins – demonstrate his ability to communicate complex ideas with clarity, accuracy and humour. For nearly three decades schools and colleges have looked to Peter to provide outstanding learning experiences, resources and CPD / INSET, both to support their work in RS and Philosophy and more broadly.
Beware of imitations! Teachers bring their students back to Peter’s events year after year for a reason!
Charlotte Vardy (Peter’s wife) combines teaching Religious Studies across the age and ability range in a local Church School with her work in managing Candle. She plans our events, designs sessions and resources and presents at some events – particularly teacher-training – as well as overseeing our website, social-media presence.
Charlotte was previously a Director of Studies and Head of Religious Studies and Philosophy (twice) in the independent sector; she is a highly experienced and effective teacher and manager who has also been Oxbridge Tutor and Gifted and Talented Coordinator.
As an educational consultant and teacher-trainer, Charlotte has worked for organisations including the Gipsy Hill Federation, the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, CTVC (True Tube) and Microbooks, examination boards including CIE and The Coexist Foundation (2007-2015). In addition, Charlotte tutored part-time at Heythrop College, University of London between 2004 and 2011.
The author and co-author of four popular books as well as many articles and teaching-resources, Charlotte is a popular lecturer and, as a consultant, has developed a particular interest in curriculum design.
In 2010 Dr Peter Vardy founded Candle Conferences with his wife Charlotte to run the popular student and teacher-training events that he had previously been running with Richard Huish College and before that Dialogue Education.
Today, Peter and Charlotte are committed to offering students and teachers of Religious Studies and Philosophy a real alternative to OCR, AQA, Edexcel or WJEC examiner-roadshows, textbooks and training, an alternative which takes a broader, deeper approach to education. We always go beyond exam-coaching and aim to teach the subject matter properly, for its own sake, rather than just as a means to an end – though students and teachers report better exam results anyway!
Candle Conferences’ A Level and GCSE events and resources are suitable for any board and any specification (e.g OCR, AQA, EdExcel, eduqas) or alternatively for IB Diploma Philosophy (and the Theory of Knowledge), CIE PreU Philosophy and Theology, SQA Scottish Higher RMPS and other equivalent qualifications, including courses for senior students overseas in Australasia such as HSC Studies of Religion.
Candle now offers a range of Bespoke Events, Resources and Consultancy Services for schools and colleges which offer more teachers, managers and of course young people to benefit from what we do really well; creating opportunities for thinking well about the big questions that affect us all.
Ultimately, we believe that education is about helping young people to become fully human, that success is not only about grades and that in-depth knowledge, thorough understanding and excellent skills will always find their just reward. We want to use our passion for a broader vision for education, help all schools make it a reality and make the future a better place.
Candle aims to ensure that all of its Philosophy and Ethics, Religious Studies, GCSE RS, PSHCE and Gifted and Talented (G&T) student conferences, Bespoke Events, teacher CPD / INSET and resources offer excellent value for money while never compromising on quality or academic rigour.